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  • Writer's pictureLilly

Thorax Stone Circle

On a hill above Aberchirder stands this small stone circle. The farmer was a very nice woman and walked me up the track to the circle, showing me how to keep their various gates closed behind me and pointing out where the cattle were hanging out along the way. We chatted a bit about the circle and then she left me to look around and return to the house on my own time.

It is a lovely location. Theres a great view, and the circle has a gentle, welcoming feel to it. Not long ago it had a tree in the middle of it, but that has been cut down, which is a good thing for the preservation of the circle. The most notable feature of this circle is the cup marked stone bearing an impressive amount of cup marks. Cup marks are believed by many to be a form of prehistoric art, but it is not known for sure what messages they might have conveyed. (A great page to follow for this topic is Scotland's Rock Art Project. )

The name is an unusual one. There are various local stories about how the circle got its name. One says that it is a nod to Norse mythology, pairing Thor and ax. Another theory is that it is a topographical reference to it location on the breastbone of the hill. But an issue some take with this is that the term thorax would not have been a layman’s term when the circle would have been named. The possibilities are probably quite numerous if you expand the search to include possible words, phrases etc from antiquity that sound similar and could have changed to thorax over time. If you have any further insight feel free to share!


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